The industry is a bit too smitten with trendy business lines such as subprime and high-loan-to-value lending, warns Richard M. Riccobono, the new second in command at the Office of Thrift Supervision.

"Bankers remind me of little kids playing soccer," said Mr. Riccobono, 40, who was named OTS deputy director in May. "Too often they're grouped in a cloud of dust chasing the ball. Coaches always warn them to spread out and hold their positions. But what happens? They're all together, kicking at each other."

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